One of the most pernicious things that young people learn when they’re younger is a ‘fixed’ mindset. Carol Dweck defines this in the following way:
In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.
Instead, we should all realise that we’re a work in progress:
In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.
If I do one thing with my children (other than show them unconditional love) it will be to develop this growth mindset in them. In the other direction lies a dangerous form of conservatism.
The whole set of Wednesday Wisdom images can be found in my Creative Commons-licensed Flickr set.